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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-28 16:15
Project Frankenstein Comes to an End with this Latest Review
Frankenstein and Philosophy: The Shocking Truth (Popular Culture and Philosophy) - Nicolas Michaud

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on December 28, 2017.

 

 

The book might have been repetitive but it did leave me with some interesting ideas, such as:

Sewing human parts together doesn’t rewrite their DNA, so any monster children will be built on normal human DNA.

The context here was the theory that if Victor was clever enough to make a human being, he surely could have created a woman who couldn’t conceive. So, his reason for not making a companion for the monster wasn’t that sound. To which I thought, what was to stop the monster from forcing Victor to make another female — one who WOULD conceive once the former had given in? Or, franken-children, the next time?

If the monster is that brilliant, he should be able to construct a woman himself and then sail off with her in his home-made submarine.

This part is from a chapter that insists that Victor fears the genius of the monster, which is the actual reason behind his refusal to build a franken-woman. After all, the monster was clever enough to teach himself to talk — one might add, in quite lyrical prose!

Then there was a chapter on Frankenfood (GMOs) and how certain scientific progress can be likened to what Victor did, such as genetic engineering:

biotechnologists often select organisms’ features aiming at enhancing their natural beauty

as well as, electroporation:

cells’ membranes are destabilized by means of electric shocks (an echo of what breathed life into the Monster?)

In the novel, Mary Shelley insinuates an untoward relationship between Justine and the Baron after the death of Ms. Moritz.

Really? How did I miss that? Did anyone else notice this?

It might be that Victor was changing some parts of his story for Walton when he related his tale.

It does feel surprising how we all just take Victor’s word for what happened. Could he have not been lying? And while we are on that subject, what is the deal with Walton going gaga over him? Isn’t the monster supposed to have a silver tongue? Why is what Victor saying affecting Walton on such an intimate level? What did he do to inspire such loyalty?

 

On the subject of “rogues”, a part of the philosophical book by Jacques Derrida on how we love alienating others from the general population. Anyone who doesn’t fit is labeled a rogue:

a monster which is foreign, strange and misunderstood are trying to point out that which is other to them represents a threat.

This fits beautifully with the way people have reacted to an influx of Syrian refugees into their countries. Furthermore:

using a twisted logic that says more about him or her than it does about the Other.

This brings me to something that I have been meaning to look into. Transgenders have been looked down upon and denied a voice, rights etc. for centuries. When did society start blaming them for being other? How did being born this way become their fault? I think I might have come across a book about transgender history on Instagram. Worth a revisit, right?

who think they are in the right because they are in the majority have a power and strnegth in numbers and in traditions and habits, giving themselves a sense of authority to judge someone outside of their group.

What do I need to say to that that hasn’t already been said? Maybe this:

 

 

it causes a normative, indeed performative, evaluation, a disdainful or threatening insult, an appellation that initiates an inquiry and prepares a prosecution before the law.

We all know what an “inquiry” can do!

a judgment that goes beyond calling someone “wrong”; it shows hatred and ill-intent.

a system of judgment where the monster can never be “good.”

(calling ourselves humans) through language, thus in the very way that is denied to those who are being labeled(otherwise).

creating an enemy for themselves, and in turn become an enemy to someone who already feels threatened.

Brings to mind the many times Islamophobia has resulted in people getting hurt!

In the same way, a foreigner who looks like a native citizen presents a threat that a readily identifiable foreigner does not. 

Easy to single out the other when they have beards — or not. I’d also like to mention the Bangladeshi revolution here and the atrocities committed by both sides! Then there is also the Holocaust that is never far from our imagination.

 

The quotes that stayed with me:

 

 

 

And some funny parts, including:

regularly enchanted by nature, to the point that Clerval goes into aesthetic rapture at least twice a day, when the sun rises and sets.

 

 

And the new terms I came across:

 

 

Here are some transhumanistic advances for you to enjoy.

 

 

This brought me to an important question:

 

 

As I end Project Frankenstein, I come to the conclusion that the monster isn’t just a villain. He can be used as an analogy for a myriad of topics. That can only be true because:

 

 

Other Useful Links

Project Frankenstein

Status of Project Frankenstein

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review 2014-11-04 23:56
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Frederich Engels
The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx,Friedrich Engels,Gareth Stedman Jones

It’s been a while since I studied Marxism at school, a refresh of my memory was required, and having never read The Communist Manifesto, I thought I might as well try it.

 

My views have changed. When I studied Marxism as a teenager I was enamoured with its idealistic belief that capitalism would inevitably end in revolution and somehow result in a more utopian and equal society. No one could ever accuse me of being an optimist, even back then, but I think perhaps Marx’s revolutionary philosophy played on my pessimistic “the world’s going to hell in a hand basket” outlook and shining a spark of optimistic hope that once society finally crumbles, things will get better.

 

Continue reading

Source: literaryames.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/the-communist-manifesto-by-karl-marx
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url 2014-03-09 21:00
Is True Equality Achievable?

 

Yesterday I wrote about feminism’s ultimate goal: equality. But after reading J.W. Orderson’s novella Creoleana and short play The Fair Barbadian and Faithful Black (review to come), I’m questioning whether equality in all things is actually achievable.

‘no society can exist without subordination’ – Judge Errington, The Fair Barbadian and Faithful Black

 

Continue reading 

Source: literaryames.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/is-true-equality-achievable
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review 2013-10-11 17:05
Marxism: Philosophy and Economics
Marxism: Philosophy and Economics - Thomas Sowell You can't get away from the importance of Karl Marx to culture, history and politics. So I decided I'd read Marx's Das Kapital. I tried. It's impenetrable, turgid, truly painful reading. Mind you, I don't mean that in and of itself is a refutation of Marx's claims. Human Action, the magnum opus of Ludwig Von Mises, the economist arguably most revered by free market advocates, is easily as impenetrable and painful to read. Sometimes it's just the case that some subjects (such as the Theory of Relativity) are inherently difficult and not to be understood without a lot of work. Thus I picked up Sowell's Marxism. I hoped it might either save me from reading Marx or might make him more comprehensible next time I tried. I knew from other books by Sowell that he is an elegant writer, and that though he is now pro-free market, he once was himself a Marxist. It's evident reading this book that Sowell's reading of Marxist literature is exhaustive and that he spent decades thinking through the ideas of Marx. That doesn't mean all the ideas within this book are easy to digest, but that's not the fault of Sowell. Three-quarters of the book are a kind of "Marxism 101 for Dummies" that is free of any sniping or arguments--they're just an attempt to help people understand what Marxism is, and what it isn't, concisely, in lucid prose, with generous quoting from Marx and Engels--duly cited--and with summaries at the end of each chapter. I'm sure some Marxists would disagree with some of his interpretations of text--just as Orthodox, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists would disagree over the Bible despite all being Christians. But I was impressed by Sowell's tone in the explanatory chapters--measured, reasonable, objective. Quite unlike the rather tendentious, even acid Sowell I've found in his political columns. I bet if you gave the text of the explanatory chapters to a Marxist, he might disagree with some points, but he wouldn't guess this was by an opponent of Marx. And Sowell is careful to set before the reader Marx's influences from Hegel to Adam Smith, the differences between Marx and other contemporary socialists and his successors such as Lenin. Plenty of the things I learned about Marx's beliefs surprised me. (For instance, Marx supported religious freedom. He did not support banning religion. By saying religion was the "opium of the people" he meant that people used it to help blunt their pain over their circumstances, but not that it needed to be prohibited the way we prohibit heroin.) The last two chapters go beyond simple explanation and interpretation. "Marx the Man" is a short biography of Marx, that had its own surprises and ironies, and in the very last chapter, "The Legacy of Marx," Sowell finally unleashes his critique of Marx's system. All well-worth the read.
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review 2013-07-01 00:00
Marxism And The U.S.A
Marxism And The U.S.A - Alan Woods Marxism And The U.S.A - Alan Woods Marxism and the USA's fair to middling. I enjoyed looking at US history through a Marxist lens. But to use the word "communist" in connection with Native American civilization and the early Jesus movement? Not so much. Sure, elements of each would make Lenin and other communist leaders and theorists smile, but I'm always hesitant to take a term from the modern world and ascribe it to communities from the past.

For a life-changing introduction to the prevalence of class struggle throughout the nation's existence, pick up a copy of Howard Zinn's [b:A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present|2767|A People's History of the United States 1492 to Present|Howard Zinn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348900509s/2767.jpg|2185591]. And if graphic novels float your boat, try [b:A People's History of American Empire|1782543|A People's History of American Empire|Howard Zinn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1312042463s/1782543.jpg|1781392]. You won't regret it!
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